How to Get Stronger Shoulders with Pilates
**If you do have a shoulder injury, please seek attention from a professional licensed medical doctor. The exercises listed below are a great way to keep shoulders strong and help in rehabilitating, but it is strongly recommended to be under the guidance of said doctor.**
An injury that happens most often in females, due to weaker shoulders by nature, is a rotator cuff tear. In every day movements the demand to use our shoulders and arms are pretty high. Having the ‘weaker’ set of shoulders comparing males versus females, it is extremely important to make sure our shoulders along with the surrounding muscles are strong to support life demands.
The one exercise I cannot stress enough in Pilates classes to keep shoulders strong with strong supporting muscles, is an exercise called newspaper. It strengthens the muscles at the back of the shoulders and in between the shoulder blades.
-Starting Position: shoulders are nice and relaxed. Elbows are tucked into your side and arms at a 90 degree angle. Hands holding a resistance band with palms facing one another.
-Keeping the elbows glued to your sides, pull the band a part as wide as you can
-At its greatest range of motion, pause for a few seconds, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Then release back to starting position.
-Repeat 10-15 times
-On a Pilate’s machine or with a resistance band trapped at the shoulder height in a door. Stand or sit up nice and tall, stomach pulled in and engaged.
-Shoulders relaxed down away from the ears.
-Arms behind straight out in front of you at shoulder height
-To start the exercise, draw the elbows straight back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. This can be the furthest you go in this exercises, meaning you can straight your arms back into starting position and repeat for 10-15 times.
-Taking it a step farther, once the elbows are straight back, you are going to rotate through the shoulder socket, keeping your arms at 90 degrees in the elbows and pulling your hands straight up so that they end directly above your elbows.
-Your arms will look like goal posts or a referee signaling the touchdown is good!
-To release out of the position you want to go in reverse order of you got into it.
-Rotate the wrists back down to shoulder height, keeping the 90 degrees in your elbow, then straightening the arms back into starting position
-Repeat 10-15 times
-With a set of dumbbells or a resistance band trapped under your feet and a handle in each hand, start standing straight up with your back against a wall with your body engaged like in previous exercises.
-This time you will begin in the position your last exercise ended in.
-Start with your arms in a touchdown position.
-Slowly slide your hands up the wall, reaching as high as you can.
-Hold for a few seconds
-Slide your arms back down into 90 degree starting position
-Don’t allow your elbows to drop lower than your shoulder height
-Repeat 10-15 times.
These are just a few exercises in which help keep the shoulder’s strong. Keeping these exercises in your exercise regimen you are going to gain many strengths and see progress in your shoulders ability to with stand daily tasks. These exercises are also a great way to rehabilitate a shoulder injury. Like previously stated make sure you are under the watch of a doctor and that (s)he approves your are ready for exercises listed above!
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